Michael Ambühl


Michael Ambühl

Prof. Dr.


  • Autor
  • Head of Department (Faculty) Management, Technology and Economics at ETH Zurich
  • Head of Chair of Negotiation and Conflict Management at ETH Zurich
  • Director of the ETH Swiss School of Public Governance (SSPG)
  • Permanent Visiting Professor at Nanjing University, China
  • Honorary Visiting Professor at Chongqing University, China
  • Permanent Guest of Honor at the University of Zurich

Michael Ambühl’s teaching and research at ETH Zurich focuses on the theoretical background of negotiation engineering, different technical and applied negotiation schools of thought, mediation and conflict management, with the practical appreciation of negotiation based on his mathematical background and more than 30 years of experience as a Swiss diplomat and negotiator.

Academic Career

  • Studies of applied mathematics and management science at ETH Zurich (dipl.Ing. ETH, 1975)
  • Doctoral studies: Nonlinear mathematical programming (Dr.sc.techn. ETH, 1980)
  • Assistant, Oberassistent, Lecturer at the Economic Faculty of the University of Zurich (1976-1982)
    Course taught:        Einführung in das Operations Research
  • Lecturer (part-time) at the Law Faculty of the University of Zurich (2000-2009)
    Course taught:        Die europäische Integration und die Schweiz
  • Full Professor at ETH Zurich (since 2013)
    Courses taught:     
    Introduction to Negotiation
    Applied Negotiation Seminar
    Contemporary Conflict Management
    Different Simulation Seminars (together with UZH/University Geneva/SciencesPo)
    Swiss Energy Policy in an International Context (together with Prof Abhari)
    Several seminars:  
    i.a. at Swiss Foreign Ministry, Swiss Ministry of Justice, Zurich High Court, Studienstiftung
    Numerous guest lectures / key note addresses:
    Switzerland: ETH, Universities of Geneva, Freiburg, Bern, Basel, Zurich, St.Gallen
    Novancia Business School Paris (Mar. 2014)
    Stanford University (Mai 2014)
    Carnegie Mellon Washington DC (Dec. 2014)
    Columbia University New York (Apr. 2015)
    New York University (Apr. 2015)
    Chongqing University (Oct. 2015)
    Western Washington Bellingham (Jun. 2016)
    Nanjing University (Nov. 2016)
    Erivan (Nov. 2016)
    CER London (Nov. 2016)
    Bosporus University Istanbul (Apr. 2017)
    University of Edinburgh (Jun. 2017)
    Sharif University of Technology, Tehran (Feb 2018)
    University of Tehran, Tehran (Feb 2018)
    Collège d’Europe, Bruges (Mar 2018)
    Policy Exchange, Think Tank, London (Apr 2018)
    Chatham House, Think Tank, London (Apr 2018)
    LSE, European Institute, London (Apr 2018)
    UK Parliament, House of Commons, London (Jun 2018)
  •  “Golden Owl”, Teaching Award by Student Association VSETH, 2016

Professional Career

  • 1982-2013: Diplomat of the Swiss Foreign Service
    Postings in Bern: Foreign Ministry, Economic Ministry, Finance Ministry
    Postings abroad: Swiss Embassy in Kinshasa (1983/84)
    Swiss Embassy in New Delhi (1988-1992)
    Swiss Mission to the EU, Brussels (1992-1999)
    1999: Appointed Ambassador by the Swiss Government
    2005-2010: State Secretary, Foreign Ministry
    2010-2013: State Secretary, Finance Ministry

Negotiation Experiences

  • 1994-1999: Member of the Swiss negotiation team Bilateral Agreements I Switzerland-EU: Land- and Air-Transport Agreements
  • 2001-2004: Swiss Chief Negotiator Bilateral Agreements II Switzerland-EU
  • 2005-2010: Swiss Negotiator of several Strategic Partnership Agreements
  • 2006-2008: Facilitator in the Swiss project “Relaunching the Dialog P5+1 / Iran” (nuclear issue)
  • 2007-2009: Mediator/Facilitator Armenia-Turkey Protocols (Zurich Protocols, signed Oct. 2009)
  • 2009: Swiss Negotiator Swiss-US Agreement concerning UBS
  • 2010-2011: Swiss Negotiator Swiss-UK-Tax Agreement and the Swiss-Austrian Tax Agreement
  • 2010-2013: Swiss Negotiator Swiss-US Banking Program
  • 2012: Swiss Negotiator Swiss-US Fatca Agreement
  • 2017: Facilitator of a framework-agreement for future negotiations concerning atomic waste disposal in Switzerland (mandated by BFE-UVEK)
  • 2018: Advisor, negotiations on Open Access, swissuniversities-publishers


Eine vollständige Auflistung der Publikationen von Prof. Dr. Michael Ambühl finden Sie hier.